Personalized Cancer Treatment Developed For Colon, Melanoma Cancers

By Anne Dominguez , Dec 27, 2016 09:45 AM EST

There might be new hope to treat colon and melanoma cancer tumors using personalized cancer treatment. Researchers at the University of Michigan are developing therapeutic cancer vaccine that uses nanodiscs which will contain unique mutations found from the tumor cells itself.

Therapeutic types of cancer vaccines meant to fight tumors. The researchers generated neoantigens from T-cells (a type of lymphocyte that plays a dominant role in cell-mediated immunity), which will target cancer mutations to prevent further tumor growth and eliminate cancer cells. 

"We are basically educating the immune system with these nanodiscs so that immune cells can attack cancer cells in a personalized manner," James Moon, an assistant professor at John Gideon Searle said according to Science Daily.

A study published in Nature Materials revealed the nanodisc technology for the personalized cancer treatment proved effective to mice with established colon and melanoma tumors. Upon vaccination, 27 percent of the T-cells attacked the targeted tumors in the mice and in just 10 days, the vaccine killed the majority of the tumors.

The researchers then tested the immunity of the mice. Moon revealed that the personalized cancer treatment was able to successfully remove the tumors and prevent recurrence without systemic toxicity in the mice. Seventy days after the successful first trial, the same tumor cells were injected at the mice. The immune system rejected it and the tumor did not grow at all.  

"This suggests the immune system 'remembered' the cancer cells for long-term immunity," Rui Kuai, lead author of the study and U-M doctoral student in pharmaceutical sciences said. The results present a new strategy for personalized nanomedicine and powerful method for cancer immunotherapy.

The newly developed technology transports the vaccine components to the right cells efficiently. The nanodiscs are made of synthetic high density lipoproteins which measures about 10 nanometers. The researchers are now preparing to use the personalized cancer treatment to larger animals.


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